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Hip-hop artist/producer Missy Elliot has revealed she has been quietly suffering with a major autoimmune disease.

In 2008, Missy (real name Melissa Elliot), 39, was diagnosed with Graves’ disease – a disorder which affects the thyroid – and she admits the symptoms came on so fast, she almost lost her ability to do everyday things like drive and write.

She says, “I was (driving and) trying to put my foot on the brake, but my leg was jumping. I couldn’t keep the brake down and almost crashed… I couldn’t write because my nervous system was so bad – I couldn’t even use a pen.”

And after suffering a slew of other side effects, including hair loss and mood swings, Elliot turned to radiation – which ultimately improved her condition.

She adds, “I’m 30 pounds lighter because I’ve been exercising. My thyroid is functioning, so I haven’t had to take medication in about 9 months. (But) you live with it for the rest of your life.”